The Forever Struggle?

I’ve been up since 5am with the kiddo and instead of just walking the dog I decided to get in a run. Running has been a wonderful stress and anxiety reducer so I’m not sure why I’ve been avoiding it?  Since my half in April, I’ve done a handful of runs.  That’s it.  I am continually amazed at how my body responds. Like “Oh yeah I remember this…it feels good!”  My pace for the run today was 12:34, which is great considering how little I’ve ran in the past 4 months.

With all the health stuff that had been going on (read about it here) I’ve managed to emotionally eat my way into gaining 10 lbs. in about 8 weeks. I was on the scale last night and it said 200 and I could have sobbed. (I gave the scale the middle finger.)  I was down to 188 not that long ago. I am so disappointed in myself.  And I wondered if this is something that I will forever struggle with?  I mean, c’mon, I’m gonna be 39 at my next birthday.  Will I always have issues with food?  Will that always be my ‘go to’ in times of stress and anxiety?  It’s depressing to think this might be a lifelong struggle.  Especially when I look at the face of my daughter, who at 19 months, is starting to imitate every single thing I do.  This is not something I wish for her to inherit.  My sense of humor?  Absolutely.  My ability to learn things quickly?  Yes, I’d love if she has that same ability.  My penchant for emotional eating and being overweight?  Not a fucking chance.

What I’m struggling with is how do I make this a lasting change?  How can I really start to cut new grooves in my brain and react differently?  I’d researched google and the interwebs but the advice is very simplistic.  Drink a glass of water before your meals.  Eat on a smaller plate.  It ain’t that people – my problem has nothing to do with food!  It’s all about the emotional aspect.  Trying to figure out how to comfort yourself in the moment without food.  A friend and I were chatting about this the other day…it’s this overwhelming need to consume anything, everything…mostly in an attempt to cover up whatever uncomfortable feelings are happening.  When I think about that thought, let it really sink in, it makes me sad.  Food has been the thing, in my mind, that has always been there for me.  Not family.  I have a few close friends that have been there for me, sure, but I always try to limit how much I share/tell/admit what I’m going through.  In the back of my mind, I tend to think that if they hear/know too much, they will no longer want to be my friend.

And all this brings me back around to the bigger picture.  That I don’t want to repeat this cycle for my daughter.  That even if I get knocked down or off-track, the most important thing is that I keep getting back up.  Keep trying new approaches.  Keep trying something different.  Because eventually what is new now will eventually become a habit right?   At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Whatever you may be struggling with, I hope you too, have the courage to keep trying.  To keep running.  To keep going.

Mixed Reviews

Sharing a few updates…some positive, some meh.  Let me set the stage for you on the marital bliss front tonight:  I’m on our deck, paying bills and enjoying watching the storm approach, while the hubs is couch surfing, on his phone (as per usual) while the TV drones on and on in the background.  I think he’s barely said 10 words to me since he got home at 7PM.  I’m trying not to take it personally…he’s had a long day and I’m guessing he wanted to unwind in peace.  It’s ok honey, let me cook dinner and clean up, get the toddler ready for bed and walk the dog.  You just sit there!!!!!

The good update – I’m no longer jobless!  YAY!!!!  I start my new gig next Monday the 18th.  It was a long process…I had interviewed last month (6/10) and am only starting now.  Offer negotiation, drug screening, pre-employment health screening and then finally orientation!  I’m really excited about the new role, as I’m doing business intelligence work in a clinical/healthcare environment.  This is a new area to me, but am SO geeked that I will be learning about it.  I’m going to get certified in EPIC, which is the electronic health record most hospitals and healthcare organizations use, so I figure this is my insurance for being able to get a job anywhere.  Anytime.

I’m a little nervous about starting back to work, because, well, it’s been 6 fucking months since I worked.  6 months!  My friend said it seemed like yesterday….and I wish I had felt that way.  This time has really dragged on for me and has been fraught with worry, so I’m happy to get back to some type of regular routine. And paycheck.  Fer real on the paycheck.

Which brings up a not so great update.  I filed for unemployment in early June, and have yet to receive a determination.  How incredibly shitty is that?  I mean, I’m thankful that we weren’t (and aren’t) living paycheck to paycheck, but for fuck’s sake, how would anyone survive having to wait over a month to know if you’ve been approved or not?!?  It is not something that anyone could even rely on and that’s a sad fact.  Much about our country seems sad these days.

Our Seattle trip was overall good.  We had a huge fight on the trail to Poo Poo Point.  And I’m seriously not shitting you on that name.  (See what I did there?!? Ha!!!!)  It is totally legit and I think it’s fabulous that our family hiked that trail.  Mind you, we did not make it to the top of Poo Poo Point.  You could say we had a blowout of sorts.  Husband had told me we were gonna hike for “an hour or so” and after 2 solid hours of hiking, I discover we have a scant amount of food for our toddler.  Who was scream crying for more food.  I became the bad guy for wanting to turn around and not try to make it to the summit because our daughter was hungry.  We resolved our fight on the way back, and I’m glad that we did.  I’d also call it progress for me because I didn’t really give a shit in that moment if I was the bad guy.  And usually I acquiesce if I’m feeling like the bad guy.

And our relationship has been kind of meh these days.  I go back and forth with how I’m feeling.  For those of you that have been married longer (we are going on 8+ years) do you often feel this way too?  I wonder if we’re going through a difficult season, or if something has fundamentally shifted in our relationship?  I know that having our daughter was a huge adjustment (and we’re still adjusting) but does it ever get easier?  It feels hard these days, and often I’m too tired to want to put in any effort.  Like I’m schlepping through wet cement.  I think this is a woman and mom thing more so….I mean for gawd’s sake, the kid needs constant care and attention, the dog is whining to get walked, everyone has to eat, people gotta have clean clothes, then it’s time to go night night, etc.  Plus I need to work out and try to do some shit for myself….and at the end of all that, sometimes I think to myself, “Husband you want to what?  You want to fuck me?  I have no energy left for that…”

And on that note, I’m taking my tired ass to bed.

Avoiding Self-Sabotage (Don’t ask me…still working on it)

How do you not sabotage yourself?  How do you nix it or nip it in the bud once and for all?  I’ve been so frustrated with myself today, but at the same time, am trying to have compassion for myself, as I’m trying to unlearn some bad habits.

Growing up, I was the one that my mom and sisters compared themselves against.  I was the fat yardstick – they felt better about themselves when they weighed less than me.  Or their waist was smaller than mine.  I distinctly remember them being giddy with excitement after they saw what I weighed compared to them.  I never realized until I was an adult what a terrible fucking awful and shitty thing that is to do to someone.  To make me be the “fat one”.  The “less than” one.  (Or more than in this instance.)  Just so they could feel better about themselves.

I’ve had a lifetime of feeling like I don’t measure up to others, that somehow there is something wrong with me.  And from that train of thought comes the all or nothing thinking when I’m having a bad day.  It goes something like this, “Well, let’s just plow through the entire bag of peanut butter chocolate puppy chow mix, since you’ve had half the bag already.”  So I eat until I am sick.  And numb.

I’ve realized it is the numb part that I’m seeking during these times.  The place where I’m beyond any kind of feeling.  Usually something uncomfortable.  And when I unpack it in my logical brain, it all makes sense.  I’ve been without any kind of schedule for 3 weeks now.  My last day at work was 2/5, and I’m floundering with the lack of routine or regular people interaction that came from my job.  I’ve been trying to fill in the gaps with lunch dates with friends, exercise, networking, applying for jobs, etc. but it’s just not the same.  And I’m nervous about finding a new job.

It’s not all hopeless, as I do see progress in my journey.  I used to go on huge emotional eating binges for days, and the episodes have become less and less throughout the years.  I’m more hypersensitive to my habits especially now because of my daughter.  I don’t want to burden her with my baggage.  Life is hard enough without adding your mother’s shit on top of everything else.  I wish I knew the magic formula to turn it off.

How do you cope in times of uncertainty?  What are your go-to strategies?  What helps you not to numb out when you are scared/afraid/etc.?

Parenting with Different Backgrounds

Last night was another fight in the Von Poopenberg household over our kid. Well maybe not fight. Let’s go with discussion instead.  Sure, that sounds better.

Today is the hubs birthday.  Last night, we had a sitter lined up and had plans to meet some friends for dinner and drinks.  We bring V home from daycare yesterday, and while I was holding her, she starts throwing up.  She threw up on me twice, and then again, after I had hauled her upstairs and had given her a bath.  She didn’t have a fever or anything, but I didn’t feel right about leaving her with a sitter while she’s not feeling well.  The hubs suggested that we go to dinner anyway, bring her, because she appears to be fine now.  I vehemently disagree.  As the time ticks away, we try to figure out what to do.  He tells me “I don’t want to leave you alone while she’s sick.”  I tell him I don’t feel comfortable leaving her, regardless of the reason why she is sick.  I tell him I want to stay home to monitor her.  Five minutes later, he tells me he’s going to meet our friends for drinks and will be back later.  With that, he grabbed his keys and left.

I was a bit dumbfounded.  And then I was angry.  So I put the kadiddle to bed, and I end up staying in the bedroom because I don’t want to be far away from her.  What if she throws up again?  Sure, I could turn on the monitor but I don’t want to be on another floor if she needs me right away.  So I lay in bed, reading for awhile.  I try to sleep but every time she rolls over or makes a sound, I sit straight up in bed panicked.  Then I sit listening, straining to make sure she is still breathing.  And still stewing about the earlier interaction with the hubs.

He starts texting me, telling me that “I felt bottled up and trying to understand your perspective when mine was fighting was making things hard on me” and “our perspectives were clashing in my head” so that’s why he left.  He got home later and we had a very pained conversation about it.  He doesn’t understand why I was so worried, because as he said, “If your finger was still attached, then it wasn’t a problem”…meaning in his family, you didn’t get attention for simple sickness.  Only when it was something catastrophic.  He went on to say that he is trying to see things from my perspective but he’s having a difficult time.  And that I’m a first time mother, so compared to his mom (who had 6 kids) I react differently.  So I tell him that from my point of view, when my kid is sick, that is my first priority.  And I’d rather be home with her than out and about.  And then I ask him, “After you’ve thrown up, for whatever the reason, did you feel like doing anything?!?”  And what I don’t tell him is that it felt like friends won out over his family.  That his daughter had thrown up three times, and he still felt the need to go out and have beers, even though he was out with the same gang the night before, and would be going out again tonight.

Our conversation ended with no real resolution.  I feel like we camped over in our corners, respectively, waiting for the bell to ding again for the next round of fighting.  I’m struggling to understand how he’d want to go out still (granted it was his birthday celebration) and he’s struggling to understand why I worry so much about her, when in his mind, she is fine.  I think our different styles of parenting are a positive thing – we both bring different strengths to the table, and that can only benefit our daughter in the long run.  But how do you come to some sort of compromise when you are in opposite corners?  How do you get each other to understand your point of view?

I’m stumped.  And kind of sad about that.  So I guess on that note, let me wish you all “Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day.”  This parenting shit is hard!